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PSVR is running on Linux with OpenHMD and OpenHMD-SteamVR

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A reader emailed in to show off that they've been able to get the PSVR headset working on Linux with Steam using OpenHMD and OpenHMD-SteamVR.

James Carthew said they did this using 1.20 compiled from source, with the NVIDIA 396.24 driver along with Kernel 4.17.0-rc3-amd64 on Debian Buster (the current Debian testing distribution). Along with this, they also said to "Use arandr to disable the HDMI output to the VR headset.".

Here's a video test they did:

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They also showed it off with Dota 2:

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Pretty impressive stuff, especially considering the PSVR headset is a lot cheaper than the Vive. 

Thanks for the email, James!

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Eike 24 May 2018 at 4:08 pm UTC
DuncPeople pay for the experience, not the hardware.

Yeah, I can relate to that.
Beyond technological advance, maybe some compromises on quality must be made.
cprn 24 May 2018 at 4:19 pm UTC
I almost can't wait for it. It will gain popularity and it will happen bloody faster than we think. And no worries, prices will drop too. After all it's just a specialized smart phone, one that can't call or text without a PC, not much more. And we all know how much is 5 years old smart phone worth nowadays. And we all know everyone has one. I expect them to cut quite a chunk out of the movie screens market. Man, I the times I live in!
Purple Library Guy 24 May 2018 at 5:55 pm UTC
lucifertdarkVR of all sorts is still way out of most people budgets, the price will HAVE to come WAY down to have any hopes of real success.

I wonder which prices people expect, considering that every VR headset contains two gaming "monitors".

And tracking system and controllers. And everything in the smallest size and weight possible.

It's not about whether the price is reasonable. There are lots of things for which a reasonable price is too expensive for most people to want to buy it. On the internet one can find pictures of this incredibly gorgeous golden gown made from the silk of the golden orb weaver spider. It's really cool and awesome, but it is unlikely to become a mass market item because what with needing silk from a million spiders and stuff it's kind of expensive.
People don't owe it to the VR industry to buy something whose utility to them is not worth what they have to pay for it.
devnull 24 May 2018 at 6:57 pm UTC
VR _is_ popular but tbh, there is no way the current infrastructure would support a mainstream influx of newbies. We're talking the same kind of people who play Fortnite

VR is an investment like any other hobby. It will be interesting to see what else comes out of VRChat. which are behind Thetacoin (and backed by Twitch for the p2p), arguably stole their 360 degree video idea from it (or were testing on VRChat). Neat ideas either way.
ObsidianBlk 24 May 2018 at 11:14 pm UTC
There are a lot of issues with VR that's going to keep it from mainstream for quite some time, IMHO

I bought a PSVR when it was released. It looks very nice and functions well enough, but... even after owning it over a year... it still suffers from positional drifting. I've asked others that own a PSVR and most of them say they suffer the same thing. No matter what I do, where I position the sensors, etc, drifting is not a matter of "if", but "when" and how extreme when it does happen. This is the entry level dedicated VR.

For me... a Linux guy... Occulus died the moment Facebook bought it. I bought and loved the Occulus DK1 prototype and it worked fairly well on Linux. After facebook bought it, Linux support all but died. Valve hasn't done much better, with the exception that they never actually promised Linux would have the VR (or did they?). Windows (of course) gets both these devices, but Occulus further ruins it by initially attempting to gate off it's content. Beyond even that, I still think the requirement for the rigs needed to run these VR bad boys are beyond even intermediate gamer level of cost.

So... given that dedicated VR for Linux is basically back to the whole "reverse engineering Windows-only libraries" of half a generation ago, MY dream of Linux VR has all but died. Maybe OpenHDM will have some significant strides and I can comfortably connect my PSVR to my computer... but I suspect that's going to be quite some time yet.

In terms of entry level VR via the Phone-as-a-HUD (PAAHUD? lol) setup... it's decent enough, but one still needs a fairly expensive phone... also... (having an expensive phone with Daydream) the f'ing drifting issue is still f'ing there! Oh... and did I mention the peripherals. Not nearly as bad as the dedicated VR devices, but still...
devnull 24 May 2018 at 11:45 pm UTC .. just say'n. Not a bad site for all things VR/AR.

QuoteWhat Information Does Oculus Store?
When Oculus launched the Rift in 2016 the company started storing snapshots online, once per minute, of the actual and “average” position of the Rift and Touch controllers. Until recently, this data was connected to individual Oculus accounts.

The data is still there, but Oculus representatives said it “can’t be used to identify individuals.” According to Oculus, this data “is used to generate aggregated playspace information that developers can access to help inform their game design.”


Last edited by devnull at 25 May 2018 at 12:02 am UTC
Cybolic 25 May 2018 at 12:14 am UTC
ObsidianBlk[...] Valve hasn't done much better, with the exception that they never actually promised Linux would have the VR (or did they?). [...]
Oh they did; there was mention of Linux support right on the actual purchase page. It was pretty clearly false advertisement when it came out.
Dunc 25 May 2018 at 2:25 pm UTC
Now the Facebook buyout makes sense. I could never understand their angle before.
Cyba.Cowboy 26 May 2018 at 1:21 am UTC
Why didn't he just use the HDMI passthrough for his videos? If I leave my television on when using my PlayStation VR, it will show whatever I am seeing... Wouldn't it still work the same way here, or is this (video passthrough) a software thing, rather than raw video pass-through (as I am assuming it is)?

By the way, if you have a PlayStation VR headset, it natively works under Linux-based operating systems for non-VR usage - I tried it with Ubuntu out of curiosity and whilst you wouldn't use it for everything, it does have its uses - for example, playing your favorite game on a (simulated) 5M display from 5M away!

Anyway, it's nice to see some work being done to get the actual VR side of the house going... Given the standard (HDMI and USB) connections plus Valve's complete lack of interest in SteamVR under Linux-based operating systems, I was rather surprised when I bought my PlayStation VR that no one had (at the time of writing) yet tried to get it working under Linux-based operating systems.

Now the Facebook buyout makes sense. I could never understand their angle before.

Which is why I was completely turned-off the Occulus products the moment Mark Zuckerberg bought them... I wouldn't trust the man if my life depended on it.

Last edited by Cyba.Cowboy at 26 May 2018 at 1:25 am UTC
DMJC 26 May 2018 at 5:33 am UTC
Why didn't I use HDMI Passthrough? Because my monitor is a 30" dell which hasn't got HDMI input... dual-link DVI only (It's not even capable of taking a HDMI input signal which is standard DVI-I It will only take a DVI-D signal, it's 11 years old). BTW When SteamVR is running, the 30" screen was being blanked out by Steam's compositor. Also the only capture rig I have that's capable of capturing a HDMI signal, is downstairs and stuck in a 4RU server chassis. The OpenHMD project and libPSVR have had the PSVR running under Linux for over a year. Really it's been engine implementors that have been slow to uptake the support. There's been too little standardization in VR which has held it back. For example, Descent 1/2 have had VR support since they were first released but haven't had any of the new APIs for VR integrated into the engine yet. Most games are picking HTC or Occulus and not bothering to implement the other models. The whole scene is a mess. OpenHMD needs to get promoted more as the Open Source VR standard, it also needs some more work so proper positional tracking works on all headsets that have it.

Last edited by DMJC at 26 May 2018 at 5:42 am UTC
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